Maphead and I won this tournament last year at Gencon. We will be playing the 42.2 tournament this year, see you in Indy!
The Axis have a distinct advantage in this version, which is not as “structural” as their advantage in G40. the Axis start with less stuff, but mostly, its because the Axis have less time to recover their position and go into rage mode, and during the tournament there is only time for 7 turns. The Allies only have a limited amount of time to challenge the Axis income position, their push has to culminate in the game-ending time. I believe that you have to get 125 income on the board with the axis at game end.
We played 5 “official games”
Kantcon; Allies (Maphead+Taamvan) vs (Bob Roby, Grandmaster) Axis; Allies bid +6, goes to Russian infantry. We used our KGF plan, it worked well but this was largely due to luck. 3-4 fleets have to be protected, Greece backdoor shredded the key income.
Gencon Qualifier; Allies (M+T) vs Jason/James (Axis). No Bid. Axis victory. We lose. KGF didn’t work at all this time.
Gencon Qualifier 2: Axis (M+T) vs Axis. No Bid. Axis victory. UK made a grand sacrifice turn 1, which Japan exploited, conceded turn 4.
Gencon Semis; Axis (M+T) vs Bob Roby and Veteran Jake (Axis). No Bid. Axis victory. Won by amazing luck against 2 very vet players. total luck in the atlantic, subs survived somehow. All the German troops survive the open in one territory, which caused Russia’s position to erode quickly.
Gencon Finals; Axis (M+T) vs Jason/James (Allies) No Bid. Axis victory. Hard fought, game culminated in a huge fleet contest over java which the Japanese won by the skin of their teeth, which allowed them to retain key income.
As you can see by these game reports, the key to winning was playing the Axis. In a longer, AAA game, that goes to 10-12 turns, im not sure the Axis has such an advantage, because of the ever-increasing amount of allied pressure on the income. In the tournament play, the Axis really only need to 1) retain all their income to start 2) gain any 2 other regions and hold.
A region is roughly defined as any two of most of (Africa, china, inshore asia, spice islands, Australia, east Russia, south Russia, north Russia, a capital).
The tournament game works a bit like football or rugby, the Axis have to push the income to a level somewhat above the 125 because they get pushed back down the line by the allies as the last turn concludes. If you are still “over the line”, you win. If you can interfere with the Allies ability to hurt your income at the last minute, you pretty much win.
The Allies need a bit of at least 8 in order to change these considerations around. This should be a DD with the scapa flow fleet, so that Germany has to commit more resources to this attack and potentially flubs it. Even with this change, the Allies are still at a bit of a structural disadvantage because this is a economic victory scenario; the allies need to “load the shotgun” by turn 5-6 to make a huge push on the final turn without being picked off or screened off the income.
The territories that are worth 1 don’t change the game. I would suggest studying the territories that are worth 2, 3 and 4. If the Allies can set up on the Pacific side near austrailia, on the final turn, they “unload the shotgun” and retake the money islands and Malaya. Japan must confront them here before they spread out. A factory on Hong Kong helped me win the game, because I could place BBs near the fight, with a NB for free. Roby pointed out to me what a powerful defensive Axis base this square is.
On the atlantic side, its a bit more difficult to hold all the $$. Use your Italian can opener as the Axis to take the $$. Ignore Africa. As the Allies, you have to prepare to block Gibraltar, or turtle the facing squares that are worth 3 and 4 (s france, rome, south Italy…)
One strat we did not use that was fairly powerful is to build a factory in Persia. DO NOT FORGET TO OPEN NW PERSIA. If you run mechs/tanks out of there, india goes from being a fallback zone to a take-area by turn 5, so UK is grabbing $$ back, and Japan is running away.
Keep in mind that most stuff you buy after turn 5 wont even be able to enter the battle. There are exceptions (forward bases, bombers). Buying is critical. I bought 1 fighter on Turn 5 for japan, after all the other air headed south, wasn’t sure why I did it, but It ended up killing an American invasion fleet coming for Japan that was coming in my back door. Study what you buy, small mistakes esp with japan, uk and usa can lose you the game. Wasn’t trying to stall but one Japan buy literally took me 20 minutes, I rebuilt it from scratch 4 times. Had I chosen any of the first 3 configurations, I would have lost the game.
1) all else being equal, play the Axis
2) do not play this like a normal game; it is a timed game. You can sac everything on the final turn, even if you lose everything, the sun sets at 7h 45m game time. You will not play an incomplete turn.
3) time is not on the Allies side
4) but, the Axis cannot protect all (10?) $$ and $$$ zones, this is where the Allied win is at.
Slight Axis bias. No bias in open play. Some players do not like to play with a bid, learn your opponents preferences and predilections.
You will be playing for 30 hours, if you are lucky. My brain was on fire the final day. Wake up time is 6AM.
Good Luck, Have Fun. Jon